According to Gallup polls over the recent years, the vast majority of Americans are unhappy and disengaged when they’re at work. Of course, engagement rates range across the board depending on a number of extenuating factors and other controls that have almost nothing to do with the jobs themselves. Still, it’s 2017, and it’s about time to start having more fun at work!
Five days ago was the official National Fun at Work Day, but you shouldn’t let that limit when you have fun at work. With these simple suggestions, you’re bound to have more fun at work in no time.
1. Start by Checking In With Coworkers
First and foremost, connection and communication are undeniably two of the keys to long-term as well as short-term happiness. That’s precisely why, if you’re trying to make your work environment more meaningful and fun, it’s important to start by checking in with your coworkers.
A quick pop-in by a coworker’s cubicle or a short email asking them how their day is going is all it takes to boost your mood (and theirs) considerably.
To further cut down on day-to-day work stress, make sure your conversations are geared toward pursuits outside of work. Ask your cubicle mate about the puppy in the picture on their desk; forward a motivational post to your team; tell a silly anecdote about your weekend—as long as it’s work-appropriate, of course!
The point is: you’ll have more fun at work if you spend a little time getting to know the people around you and connecting with them on a daily basis.
2. Give Back as a Team
There are countless studies that back up the fact that altruism not only contributes to the health of an individual but also to an overall feeling of happiness. If you’re trying to establish a more positive company culture (and obviously have more fun at work), you can kill two birds with one stone by volunteering as a team.
Giving back as an office instills in employees and employers alike a sense of well-being and happiness. On top of that, companies that incentivize volunteerism have been shown to retain employees at a higher rate and have a much higher engagement level, all else being equal.
3. Liven Up The Office Atmosphere
If you’re feeling a bit blue at work, take a look around. Have you made an attempt to make your desk space comfortable and inviting? If not, now may be the time.
You can liven up your office’s atmosphere and add a little more fun into your workday by bringing in some personal items to display on your desk. Consider showing off small mementos from vacations you’ve taken—that way, every time that you look around, you’ll be reminded of all the fun places you’ve been. Plus, seeing those tokens will incentivize you to work harder for the next vacation you plan to take.
There are, of course, dozens of ways to rearrange your workspace to make it more fun. From bringing in big, leafy green plants to painting the walls brighter colors to setting up a ping-pong table in the breakroom, there are almost too many choices for livening up an office’s atmosphere.
4. Host a Luncheon at a Local Landmark
Sometimes the best way to have more fun at work is just to escape work for a little bit. And what better time to break free than at lunchtime?
The next time the dreary doldrums loom over your office, try suggesting that everyone head out to lunch together. To make it even more fun, suggest that the team all eat lunch together at a local landmark, such as a local park, the city art museum, or by the water if you live in a city near a lake, ocean, or river.
The goal is to get outside and switch up your routine a little bit.
5. Practice Intentional Gratitude
Finally, the most lasting and impactful way to have more fun at work is to practice intentional gratitude every day.
Start each workday (after you’ve checked in with your coworkers) by listing out at least three things that you’re grateful for. They could be related to work, or they could not be; it’s completely up to you. The point of the exercise is to put yourself in a more positive mindset that will allow you to accept more fun and joy into your everyday work activities.
Whether you choose to adopt all five suggestions for having more fun at work, or you only end up sticking with one of the above, it’s our hope that you find a way to make each day less stressful and more fulfilling.